CHR urges gov’t to probe cyberattacks vs progressive, human rights groups


As the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) joins the observance of “Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021” this September, it urges the government to investigate the reported cyberattacks on progressive and human rights groups in the country.

The CHR said the growing dependence on digital channels due the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic encourages more cybercriminals to prowl the digital space for possible victims and attack progressive and human rights groups.

It said: “Cyberattacks and ransomware have become more common as these continue to target individuals and groups. Of particular concern are the recent attacks on the Karapatan website and against alternative media outlets Bulatlat and Altermidya.”

Such attacks, it said, reflect the online situation faced by progressive and human rights groups “apart from the on-the-ground harassments they receive on a daily basis.”

It stressed that the government should “carefully investigate these incidents to hold into account the perpetrators of these attacks and other attacks that threaten the basic rights of Filipinos.”

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is celebrated annually under Proclamation No. 2054 signed on May 11, 2010 by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The proclamation highlights the need to make public awareness of cybersecurity information and reinforce efforts to address policies focused on cybersecurity and develop a national cyber defense capability.

Since the issuance of the proclamation, the CHR said the country has adopted several cybersecurity plans to ensure the protection and integrity of government data.

But it said cyber threats remain to be a problem as Kaspersky's 2020 Security Network (KSN) report places the Philippines at sixth place in the global list of countries with the most web threats.